The Ph D project will address questions pertaining to sensory processing, with a focus on the rodent whisker system. Behaviour guided by sensory stimuli depends on the interplay between movements of the sensory organ (e.g., rodent’s whiskers), cortical processing, and finally motor output that can cause adjustment of body position and sensory organ movements. This sensory-motor-sensory loop is dynamically regulated by cortical control of sub-cortical structures. Rodents extensively use their whiskers to form a representation of the external world. It remains unclear how this representation is affected by sensory-evoked modulation of motor outputs and by changes in sensory detection.
To analyze the mechanisms underlying top-down modulation of sensory information transfer we will control, using optogenetics and other genetic technologies, the activity of cortical projection neurons to elucidate the contribution of specific cell populations. In particular the project will investigate how feedback from cortex controls sensory processing in sub cortical structures, such as striatum and thalamus. The aim is to analyze the importance of cortical projections to brain areas involved in sensory-guided behaviour, and cortical projections that modulate thalamic responses to optimize detectability. We investigate sensory processing using a variety of in vitro and in vivo electrophysiological methods and imaging techniques, including two-photon imaging. In particular we use genetic technologies in combination with optogenetics and behavioral assays to investigate the contribution of specific cell populations to sensory processing.
Student service and support finding accommodation, childcare etc. http://international.rub.de/welcomecentre/index.html.en
Send your application as one pdf including: Personal statement of neuroscience interests, CV & two letters of recommendation.
Evaluation will start Sept. 16 and continue until the position is filled.
Patrik KriegerDept. Systems Neuroscience
Ruhr University Bochum